Camel-hair coats offer luxurious warmth, but they also require a bit of special care. You can't just toss your coat in the washing machine, for example, if you expect it to stay in like-new condition for long. The way you clean and store your camel-hair coat determines how long it can last. Dry cleaning is the smartest choice for coats made from camel hair and related fibers, including llama, alpaca and vicuna. By combining professional cleaning with good day-to-day care, your coat will look beautiful for many years.
Rinse stains immediately with cold water to prevent them from setting, then brush the stained area with a stiff-bristled brush in the direction of the hair's nap. Do not use hot water. Heat can set the stain permanently.
Keep an eye out for pilling on your coat. When camel hair pills, little clumps of fiber appear on the surface of the coat. To get rid of these, hold a stiff-bristled brush flat against the fabric, then brush downward.
Have your camel-hair coat dry cleaned when it's ready for a full washing. Cleaning the coat yourself may cause damage because the fibers are so delicate.
Let the coat rest between wearings for 24 hours or more. This gets rid of wrinkles and protects the coat from wear and tear.
Hang the coat on a padded hanger when you're not wearing it. Zip up the zipper or button the buttons so the coat keeps its shape and doesn't fall off the hanger.
Store the coat in a breathable garment bag if you don't plan to wear it for several months. Keep the coat in a cool, dry place, such as an indoor closet.
Protect your stored coat from moth and pest damage. Mothballs work, but many people dislike the pungent smell. A cedar block placed on a closet shelf will keep moths away, but you'll need to sand it down every few weeks so it keeps working. Alternatively, dab some lavender, clove, mint or cedar essential oil on a sheet of thick paper, then set the paper near the coat. Replace the paper when the smell fades.
Once a garment starts to show wear, getting it dry cleaned can make the damage worse.
Don't put dirty garments into storage. Dirt, food particles and other debris attract fabric-munching pests.
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